We catch up with Raechel Whitchurch for a special interview.
How and where did it all begin for you? What drew your interest to the music industry? I grew up playing in a country band with my family from when I was 8 years old. We spent a large part of my childhood traveling Australia and the world, performing at pubs, clubs, festivals, caravan parks – anywhere we could get a gig! As an adult, I went away from music for a long while, but I kept writing songs. I finally got the courage to put out my debut album ‘Finally Clear’ in 2021.
What motivates or influences you in your quest to make great music? I am mostly influenced by the world around me – the people I meet, the things I observe, and how it all makes me feel! What motivates me to put it out into the world is the belief that there are other people out there who are experiencing the very same things that I am, but are unable to put it to music. I hope my songs find them and help them feel understood, and a little less alone in the world.
What are some of your biggest goals you hope to accomplish? I usually set pretty realistic goals (I am not motivated at all by unattainable challenges!) so I would say my biggest goal would be to write music that moves people. Hopefully they are also moved to come to my shows as well 😉
What can we expect from you in the coming months? Any plans to tour? I am at the beginning of a new release cycle and so you are going to be hearing a lot of new music from me in the coming months. I am performing at Savannah in the Round in Mareeba in October, and I have more shows to announce soon!
Tell us a bit about your latest release and how would you best describe your music? My latest song is called ‘Untangled’ and I wrote this song all about long-term love. I hear heaps of songs about new love, and a lot about heartbreak, but there aren’t as many about what it feels like to be in a marriage where there are ups and downs, highs and lows. This song is all about the twists and turns of love, and how at the end of the day you don’t want to be untangled from that person you choose.
Give us an insight into your creative process. What gets you writing songs? Everything around me! I am inspired by all sorts of things and usually an idea will just arrive and demand to be written. I use voice memos a lot as I usually get a lot of ideas when I’m in the car. I have 3 kids and so I can’t always write when inspiration strikes, so I usually just sing/speak whatever idea pops into my head and then come back to it later!
Success, what is the secret to it? I think the secret to success is being content in all things. Still have goals, hopes and dreams, but always be content with where you’re at!
What has been your biggest career highlight so far? Definitely getting nominated for 2 Golden Guitar Awards and then performing on the Awards Show in 2022. I have never been so nervous and excited! Also having my debut album go to #1 on the ARIA Australian Country Chart.
Which stars of the music industry do you find inspiring? I am inspired by anyone who is able to write songs that are authentic and showcase the human condition. I have been listening to a lot of Lori McKenna’s album ‘The Tree’ lately and that whole album is a perfect example of someone writing about the ordinary in an extraordinary way.
Are there any new projects in the pipeline? There’s always new projects in the pipeline, but you’ll have to wait a bit longer to find out what we have planned for the next year!
The music industry is constantly changing, where do you see yourself a few years? In a few years I see myself continuing to release music, touring to other countries, and collaborating with more songwriters. I want to release music as long as I have songs in me, and I won’t stop until I feel like I have nothing left to say.
What is your favourite and least favourite part about this line of work and why? I love writing songs more than anything, but I hate putting them out there and facing rejection in all its shapes and forms (and the reality is, everyone faces rejection at some point!)
Name a few of your favourite Australian artists. I love Camille Trail, Fanny Lumsden, Paul Kelly, Colin Buchanan and Middle Kids.
The shape of the music industry has changed significantly over the years, including the use of social media, how do you feel about the industry as a whole and what does it mean to you in getting your records out into the public eye? I love change and I think the most exciting thing about the way the music industry is going is that we have direct access with our fans! We have the ability to find the people who resonate with us from all over the world via social media, so you can build an entire fanbase from your phone!
How will you continue appealing to the international market? Once again, I think we have the ability to reach people from all over the world, but my focus isn’t necessarily on appealing to an international market. I really just hope to find the people that relate to my songs and hope they will come with on the ride.
Do you collaborate with others? Who is on your wish-list? I’ve been doing A LOT of co-writing lately and I’ve been really enjoying it. I’d love to write with Lori McKenna or James McMurtry (but what songwriter wouldn’t?)
What advice do you give for other artists wanting to follow in your footsteps? Nothing will be handed to you, so you have to be prepared to work, work and then work some more. Also, it doesn’t matter how good your songs are if no one ever hears them.
A message for your fans. How do you best interact and respond with your followers and fans?Forever grateful to everyone who has supported my debut album ‘Finally Clear’, and I can’t wait to show you what’s next! The best way to get me is via my online mailing list (via my website).
Any last words? Buying concert tickets and merch are the best ways to support local artists!